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Assignment of effects in trust for creditors

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#1
Hi all

For the last 30 odd years, I have been stuck with a brick wall in my ancestry, in the from of my ggg-grandfather, Robert Gumbleton. In the past few days, the newspaper archives people have released a whole batch of new, early nineteenth century newspapers for Kent, in which I have found several useful references to my ancestor, so I'm hoping to unbrick some of the wall, at last!

Robert was a Grocer with a shop in Deal, Kent, but I have found a newspaper notice, dating from July 1811, suggesting that things went badly for his business. It says "Robert Gumbleton of Deal, in this County, Shopkeeper, having made an Assignment of all his effects in trust, for the benefit of his Creditors, to Mr Robert Richard Manley, of Aldermanbury Church-yard, in the City of London, tea-dealer, and Mr George Fitch, of Leadenhall-street, in the said city, cheesemonger,—Notice is hereby given, to all those who have any demand against the said Robert Gumbleton, to send an account thereof to either of the above named Trustees, within twenty days from the date hereof, or they will be excluded the benefit arising from the estate."

I take this to mean that Robert was insolvent, but rather than being declared bankrupt, he had signed over everything directly to his creditors. If anyone here understands the difference between a bankruptcy and an "assignment of effects in trust for creditors", I'd be very grateful for any insights.

The thing I really don't understand is that it goes on to say: that "all persons who are indebted to the said estate, are desired immediately to pay the same to Mr John Backhouse, of Deal, who is authorised to receive the same, and who is carrying on the business for the benefit of Mrs Gumbleton and her family." I would have thought that either the business would have closed down (most likely) or would have been continued for the benefit of the creditors. It seems strange that it is allowed to continue for the benefit of the family. Any ideas, anyone?

Cheers

Steve
 
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#3
Hi Emeltee

Thanks for the reply. In fact he was still alive. The other great discovery from the Kent newspapers was a death notice for him in June 1820: "Died June 13, in St Thomas's Hospital, London, Mr. R. Gumbleton, late shopkeeper in Deal."

What he was doing in Southwark, in 1920, is another mystery to be investigated, but it looks certain that he was still alive in 1811. There were several Robert Gumbletons around, but only one was a shopkeeper in Deal.

Cheers

Steve
 

Ladybird1300

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#4
I'm wondering if the last statement of carrying on for the benefit of the family, is to prevent them from claiming Parish relief. There were no state benefits then so the Parish would have been the only place to go for help.

Amanda
 

stockpot

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#5
I don't know anything about bankruptcy but I noticed that FS has children baptised by Robert and Ann Gumbleton in Deal in 1807, 1809 and 1812.
The child baptised in Jan. 1812 was Maria Backhouse Gumbleton, i.e the middle name from John Backhouse who was running the business for the benefit of Mrs Gumbleton six months previously.

I wonder was John Backhouse actually Ann's father who was running the business with his own money to keep it going for his daughter?

A similar thing happened with my family in Scotland, I couldn't quite work it all out but it seemed as if the man's father had helped him out and he was able to continue in business.

Elaine
 

stockpot

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#6
No, John Backhouse is not Ann's father. He was the rector of Deal from 1795. He died in 1838 and his will is on FMP. Very difficult to read but it doesn't seem to mention Gumbleton, however they must have been grateful to him to give Maria his name.

Ann's father was John Ensor, farmer of Sherborne Dorset. She married Robert Gumbleton, grocer of Sherborne in 1796, the marriage licence bond is on FMP.

In 1861 widow Ann Gumbleton aged 85 was living in Hampstead with Maria born Deal and another daughter born Dorset. She died later that year. A son Richard was a grocer so wasn't put off by his father's troubles.

Elaine
 
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#7
Thanks for the replies and for all the brainpower being applied to my problem! I'm not a hundred percent convinced that the John Bachouse was the vicar. He usually seems to be referred to as the "Rev John Barnes Backhouse" rather than the simpler "John Backhousee". There would surely have been some incentive for them to use the grander form of his name, to add an air of respectability to the proceedings. Also, I'm doubtful about The Reverend taking on such a lowly role as running a grocer's shop. I wonder if there was, coincidentally, another John Backhouse around, although it is not a common Kentish name. A further coincidence (or not) is that, prior to moving to Deal, Robert Gumbleton had a grocer's shop in Ilchester, Somerset, which he acquired from... J. Backhouse.

I agree about all the the other points. The family seem to have prospered, with one son a grocer in London, another a shoemaker in London; the daughters as milliners in Hampstead, where Ann, the wife, lived with them. No signs of poverty except perhaps Roberts's own death in St Thomas's Hospital.

Cheers
Steve
 
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#8
Just an update on this, for those interested...

I've been looking at the rate books (for collection of the poor rate) for Deal and, although the rate is payable by property owners, the books generally name the tenants, too. From April 1807, the property owned by John Oakley is bracketed together and includes his own house, plus another property "for Gumbleton" and an adjoining cottage. The book gives the rental value of each of the properties and, for the Gumbleton property, this is £24 per annum, resulting in a poor rate of 12 shillings (rated at 6d in the pound). This was one of the highest rental values of properties in that area.

The surprising thing is that this continued unchanged, in 1811, even after Robert Gumbleton's apparent "financial embarrassments". The Gumbletons seem to have remained in that property, with an annual rental of £24 up until 1817.

So it looks as though the business really did continue for the benefit of Mrs Gumbleton and her family. Very odd!
 
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